Chateau Montrose 1989
Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
The Wine Advocate - "For many years I have vehemently argued that the 1989 Montrose is a benchmark wine for the estate. Having tasted it several times over the last couple of months, I have never found a single occasion to alter that view. Tasted at the vertical in London, it continues to shine, having never lost any of its luster in recent years. It is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc that was picked from 11 to 28 September. Lucid in color, the aromatics do not hold back with vibrant blackberry, blueberry and black truffle, hints of sous-bois, all with sensational precision that few can match in this vintage (indeed, its precision lends it a veneer of modernity since "precision" is now more commonplace across Bordeaux). The palate is brilliantly balanced with filigree tannin. There is wonderful backbone here, extremely fresh and tensile, crystalline even with an exceptional detail, mineral-rich finish that lingers in the mouth. Difficult to fault, this might well be the greatest 1989 Montrose that I have tasted, and certainly wishing to take nothing away from the 1990 Montrose that I tasted alongside, the 1989 is now the one I would pick. Is this the greatest Saint Estèphe of the 1980s? I would put it within the top five Bordeaux of the 1980s. Could this be inching its way to perfection??? Tasted June 2016."
James Suckling - "This was yet another wine I drunk with wine collector friends in Bangkok – the city is truly buzzing when it comes to wine and when you know where to look! On the nose, there were intense aromas of iron, pot iron and dried fruits, as well as hints of nuts and wet earth. On the palate, it showed a gorgeous texture of ripe tannins and lots of spicy and currant fruit character. A full-bodied, very soft and silky Bordeaux with lots of flavors and a superb finish. Just right now – indeed it seems to be getting younger with age, not older! Decant an hour before. I think it's better than the legendary 1990. It's certainly cleaner and more consistent quality."
Wine Spectator - "Intense aromas of crushed blackberry and mineral turn to dried flowers and dried fruits, staying fresh on the nose. Full-bodied, offering big, round tannins and loads of ripe, seductive fruit. This is decadent and wild, turning nutty and fruity. A beautiful bottle. This is very close in quality to the legendary 1990."
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Chateau Montrose Winery
At Château Montrose, the terroir's potential is optimised on the basis of a very simple winemaking philosophy, summarised by Jean Bernard Delmas as follows: "wine is made in the vines and not in the winery." In other words, fine wine can only be made with good grapes. The finest terroir and best vineyard plots on the estate were identified many years ago. Vineyard work and winemaking methods are guided by a global,common-sense approach to the soil/vine/climate system.
Château Montrose overlooks the Gironde Estuary. In fact, the proximity of this vast body of water (called locally "The River") is a major advantage. The estuary is responsible for maintaining a mild microclimate and toning down extremes of temperature. Helped by the presence of nearby marshes, it provides remarkable air conditioning in the summer while also compensating for the rigours of the winter.
The large gravel found throughout the estate’s topsoil originated in mountains in the Massif Central and the Pyrenes. These pebbles absorb the sun’s heat during the daytime and release it at night. This is an important way of improving the maturity of the grape. View all Chateau Montrose Wines
About St. EstepheView a map of St. Estephe wineries (saint ess-TEFF)
St.-Estèphe is the northernmost of the 4 communes hugging the Dordogne river in the Northern Haut-Médoc area of Bordeaux. While the appellation has no premier crus (first growths) of its own, it's southernmost chateau, Cos d'Estournel, is a highly acclaimed second growth, geographically separated from the famed Lafite-Rothschild in Pauillac by only a stream. Many believe Cos d'Estournel consistently produces wine of a first growth level.
Notable FactsWine from St-Estèphe typically matures more slowly than its southern counterparts. The soil is heavy and rich with clay, leading to wines with firm, muscular tannins and high acidity. Dark and opaque in color, the wines can be a bit austere in their youth, though most get softer as they age. Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape in most of the region's blends, although Merlot is important in helping to soften the wines. In volume, St-Estèphe creates the most wines of the top four Haut-Médoc communes. There are quite a few Cru Bourgeois properties, which are more approachable when young and, even better, lower in price. To get a feel for St-Estèphe, look for Cru Bourgeois like Chateau Haut-Beauséjour.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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